MUSTANG — As the largest school on the west side of the state with a football program that has been able to sustain a high success rate, expectations are always high at Mustang.
Every year, coach Ty Prestidge finds himself trying to fill several holes from the previous graduating class, but this year, it seems there are even more spots to fill.
The Broncos lost their top five receivers — including Parade All-American David Glidden — and their primary running back, along with a few linemen and a few key defensive players.
Quarterback Brandon Taylor is the one well-known returning starter. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior with a rocket left arm threw for more than 3,300 yards last season with 36 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions.
Senior Derek Garvin is the most experienced of Mustang's receivers, but he missed almost all of last season with a torn meniscus. Other players like Dakota Warrington and Colton Hadlock are showing their value as well.
“We have a good group of six, which is better than just having one guy out there,” Garvin said. “We'll have a lot more diversity. We have good chemistry with Brandon, our timing is down, so we're feeling good.
“I just want to do my best, because it's my senior year and I've been out for a year, so it's time to show up.”
Hadlock worked his way into the rotation late last season as a freshman, and hopes are high for him.
“He's a big target,” Prestidge said. “I think he's gonna come on and be a good one. He's showing some promise.”
Defensively, the Broncos will be relying on some returning starters, but they won't all be in the same positions as last year. For instance, junior Tucker Calmus — the nephew of former OU and NFL player Rocky Calmus — was forced into action at defensive end last season, but he's back at his natural position of middle linebacker this year.
“A bunch of those guys played last year, so they have experience,” Prestidge said. “Last year, we just had to get our best 11 guys on the field and some of them had to play out of position.
“Tucker Calmus is really getting better. He's a good-sized kid who is going to be a good leader. Jared Chance played inside on the defensive line at about 260 pounds, and he's up to about 295 now. I think he can be a force.”
The Broncos also return Nathan Taylor on the defensive line and Ty Martin at linebacker. Stephen Fruit and Andrew Madison are back in the secondary.